Rendered in the style of a 17th century Dutch still life painting, Still Life With Mushrooms And Courgettes is a digital print from Julian Opie’s Still Life series from 2001. The print shows an image of three courgettes and three mushrooms, randomly assembled in a composition against a stark, black backdrop.
Working within the established art historical tradition of still life painting, Opie takes the opportunity in Still Life With Mushrooms And Courgettes to use this subject as a study of colour and tone and explore a more realistic artistic style. Reducing light and shadow into simplified shapes of block colour, this composition toes the line between tradition and contemporaneity in its clever blend of subject matter and style.
Engaging with traditional compositional compositions, this print presents a decidedly modern version of the art historical genre. The vegetables are closely cut around with clean lines so as to isolate them from the empty flattened backdrop, with no shadow or light to contextualise the objects in their surroundings. Furthermore, Opie’s use of bright, saturated colour and his emphasis on using computer technology, works to bring this scene into the context of a 21st century art world.